For women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), taking certain steps to ensure that they have a healthy pregnancy leads to a reduced risk of complicated birth or miscarriage, according to a study in Arthritis Care & Research.
The study included 443 women with RA and 6,097 women in the general population. In the RA population, patients who followed an "ideal clinical pathway" that included certain medical tests, therapies, and prenatal follow-up had a 40% lower risk of complicated birth or miscarriage compared with those who did not. Compared with the general population, patients with RA who followed an ideal pathway had a similar risk of complicated birth or miscarriage.
"Preconception counselling and risk stratification are key points for successful pregnancies because they allow for modification of treatment according to an individual's risk profile," said senior author Carlo Alberto Scirè, MD, Ph.D., of the University of Ferrara, in Italy. "Our study suggests that simple interventions may have a relevant impact on a successful pregnancy outcome in women with RA."